Plan Your Web Site Effectively for Max Success
Types of Websites
Explore the types of Web Site Business Models
Site Types 2
More information on the strategic types of sites
Strategy Planning is essential to Success
Make sure your strategy is up to snuff
Technical Strategic Planning an Outsourcing Contract Work
More on Outsourcing Contract Work
Deciding what will go on your business site and who will provide it
Determing a schedule for content management
Automation for Content Syndication
Keyword Planning Suggestions on preparing keyword research for your site.
Brainstorming and organizing the architecture of your website.
Information Architecture 2
More discussion on the lower tiers of site heirarchy
Technology Planning Scaleability considerations for large and growing sites.
Tech Planning 2Weighing the value of flash technology.
Creating a budget and using it effectively
What type of web host will you need?
Labor related expenses for site creation
Measuring financial success and ROI
Developing a Web Site
Design and Development
Establishing the importance of credibility in design.
Writing the Initial Code
Programming considerations for when you get down to programming.
Promoting a Web Site
With so many options of what may be displayed on a website, it is helpful to know what exactly users are looking for. In order to do this, it is necessary to use some of the research tools available to website developers. Some of the best tools in this category include Overture’s Search Term Suggestions Tool (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/), Wordtracker.com, and Google Sets (http://labs.google.com/sets). There is an abundance of data that can be derived from the information provided by these tools. Each of them is free for general use, and provides some insight into how often given search terms are queried in the search engines, and what other key phrases are within the “theme” of a website.
Overture’s Search Term Suggestions Tool does exactly what it claims. A user types in a generic keyword or phrase, and the tool will suggest similar phrases and give a figure of how many times that phrase has been clicked on in a search in the past month. Overture is only a “pay-per-click” engine, which means sites that are listed in their index are paying at least five cents (upwards to fifty dollars or more) for each time a user clicks on their listing. This tool is helpful in gathering a broad range of terms that may be helpful in the content planning process. (See Appendix 1-1)
Wordtracker.com offers users the ability to search for a given term (preferably a generic one), and “dig” further to see how many people are searching for the variations of that term. This tool will also suggest other terms to dig further for, and give the user statistics on how many people are searching for that term. One step further, the program will assess how many other websites are competing for the given keyword, and provide the user with a Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) which is a statistical ratio based on competition and number of searches. The free version of this program is based on the data of only one of the older and less used search engines, but the pay version allows users access to the data of many of the other engines as well. This tool is nearly essential in understanding the demographics of an online market. (See appendix 1-2)
Google Sets gives a website developer insight into how a search engine will “theme” given terms. In order to provide more accurate results search engines are moving towards the practice of grouping similar websites together. Google calls this group of sites or terms a “set”. For example, if a user types in “website design”, the given set might include, “Computer Hardware”, “Online Marketing Solutions”, “Search Engine Positioning”, “Web Hosting”, and many more terms that are related in the eyes of the search engine. This can be a valuable tool in learning which sites will complement the site being developed. Being aware of the “set” information helps prepare the developer for planning the future content of a site effectively. It is also necessary to note that theme information is important when optimizing a site for search engines. (See Appendix 1-3)
Content planning is a vital building block to the website creation process. Providing users with the information that they desire and expect is key to a successful website. If a user navigates to a site via a search engine expecting to find information on a certain subject and finds that there is actually very little information given on the subject advertised they will most likely hit the back button and find a better site. Capturing repeat visitors is like a game of Japaneese Pachinko Seth Godin says, “If you buy enough ‘balls’ you’ll have plenty of traffic coming in at the top of your machine. The challenge is how to design the layout so that the balls go where you want them.” (Godin, 2001, p. 13). Many users are going to come through and the more that the site can “catch” the more successful the site will be. Proper content planning helps to bring in more visitors, as well as converting them into regular users. (See Appendix 1-4)
(All in a single document) Appendix 1-1: Overture Search Term
Appendix 1-2: Wordtracker Search Query Research Tool
Appendix 1-3: Google Sets Website Theme Research Tool
Appendix 1-4: Reach/ Acquire/ Convert/ Retain
Chart Appendix 2-5: Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth Information Architecture Flowchart
Appendix 2-6: Search Engine Themes Pyramid Information Architecture Example
Appendix 2-7: Webpage Download Time by File Size Chart
Appendix 2-8: Expected Locations for Common E-commerce Elements
Appendix 2-9: Website Usability Checklist
Appendix 2-10: Text Vs.Code Ratio/ Content Near the Top of Souce Code Examples
Appendix 3-11: Overture Bid Price Tool
Appendix 3-12: Webalizer Website Visitor Tracking Tool
Appendix 3-13: AW STATS Website Visitor Tracking Tool Appendix
3-14: Clicktracks Website Statistics
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